Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Recovery?

There's an article at Investors.com which puts the President's rosy economic claims in some perspective:
Just 16 states have seen job growth since President Obama took office, according to state employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The remaining states have lost a combined 1.4 million jobs since January 2009.

Even 34 months after the recession officially ended in June 2009, there are still 11 states that have fewer people working now than at the start of the recovery. Meanwhile, 20 states have unemployment rates at or above 8%, including nine with unemployment at 9% or higher, according to the BLS.

Obama has attempted to assuage such concerns by boasting about the "extraordinary progress that we've been able to make," including "4 million jobs created over the last two years." But the nation's workforce is still 5 million smaller than it was at the previous employment peak, set way back in January 2008, BLS data show. At 51 months, it's already the longest jobs recession since the Great Depression, with no end in sight.
There's more at the link. One interesting, an ironic, point is that states which tend to vote Republican have, on average, gained jobs at nearly twice that of states which tend to vote Democratic. In fact, Democratic states ("Blue" states) have had an average job loss of almost 1% since Mr. Obama took office whereas Red states have experienced net job gains.

In other words, what recovery there has been has largely been produced by Republican states. That might tell Mr. Obama and his economic advisors something they should heed.

Principles, Schminciples

This is very sad. I admired Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, N.J. He has a great story, giving up a profitable career in finance to become a public servant, even saving someone's life in a house fire a couple of months ago, and doing a lot to get Newark turned around. He always seemed to me to be honest and principled. This assessment was reaffirmed as recently as Sunday morning when he went on Meet the Press and strongly criticized the Obama campaign, which he's a part of, for its absurd demonizing of private equity firms like Bain Capital for whom Mitt Romney worked for a number of years.

But then someone from the Obama campaign must have made a phone call and by Sunday evening Mr. Booker was moonwalking away from his earlier views in what Joe Scarborough at Morning Joe Monday morning was calling a "hostage video." Here, thanks to The Blaze, is the video of the Morning Joe segment. The relevant portion is the first six minutes after the commercial:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I guess everyone has feet of clay, but to see Booker cave so far so fast, to find him to be so unprincipled and so willing to make himself a laughingstock is very sad.

Speaking of a lack of principles, allow me a couple more thoughts about the Obama attacks on Romney over his association with Bain Capital. The Obama campaign is running ads featuring interviews with people who once worked for a Kansas City steel company named GST that went bankrupt in 2001 costing 750 people their jobs, but from which Bain nevertheless made a handsome profit. They're tying Romney to this unfortunate episode as though he were Mephistopheles himself, but there are three facts about this ad that should be noted: First, Romney hadn't been with Bain for two years when the company went under.

Second the guy who was running Bain at the time turns out to be one of Mr. Obama's biggest campaign bundlers and fund raisers, a man named Jonathan Lavine. If Mr. Obama is so outraged at Romney for what happened two years after he left Bain, if Mr. Romney is so tainted by his association with Bain, why is Mr. Obama associating with and taking huge amounts of cash from the man who succeeded Romney and was in charge during the bankruptcy of GST?

Third, Mr. Obama himself forced the layoffs of tens of thousands of employees at almost 3000 auto dealerships, often with less than a month's notice, as part of his bailout of GM and Chrysler. For the Obama campaign to criticize Romney because some of the companies Bain purchased in order to make them more profitable and efficient couldn't be saved is breathtakingly hypocritical.